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Browser game of the week: 1899 Steam & Spirit

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Adventure games have had a bit of resurgence lately -- still not breaking into the mainstream, but certainly garnering enough popularity to allow for people to come in and create new games that have an audience. Case in point, 1899 Steam & Spirit, an old-school adventure game that takes place entirely in your browser.

There aren't a lot of turn-of-the-century-themed games out there, but 1899 hopes to remedy that by combining a few historical figures with a steampunk-like world. As far as the gameplay is concerned, it's your standard point-and-click affair, but since this was created in Java and HTML, you'll actually be able to right-click.

And right-click you will, a lot. Left-clicking gives you a description of an object, right lets you use, pick up or combine it. From the start, you'll need these skills in order to get out of your room.

1899 Steam & Spirit from Moloc Lab on Vimeo.

You room isn't just the first puzzle, it's also the first narrative explanation you'll get as you go along. The game starts with you waking up and looking around the room to find a murder weapon. So, apparently, you'd committed a murder at some point in the evening. Or maybe you'd just murdered your brain with too much booze. From there, you'll need to solve the mystery of what happened and, more importantly, what else is going on. After all, this wouldn't be an adventure game if there wasn't a larger conspiracy happening.

Unfortunately, you're not going to figure out what that larger conspiracy is in 1899, because this is just the first episode. You'll still have a darn good time solving puzzles and combining random items, though, so don't let the unfinished state of the narrative detour you from getting some enjoyment out of it. If you've never played a point-and-click adventure game before, chances are you'll be stuck in the room for a long time, but seasoned veterans will quickly pick up on the somewhat absurd things you need to do to find and retrieve your keys. If you're struggling, just remember that the little red dot on the right is a magnet and the booze should be poured in the sink.

Play it here.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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